Biden says jobs that pay $45 or $50 an hour — not $7 or $12 — are part of his climate-infrastructure plan

Business Insider
Business Insider
US President Joe Biden tours a flood-ravaged neighborhood, one of the latest examples of the climate crisis Mandel Ngan/AFP
  • Biden said workers would earn high wages to prepare for climate change under his resilience plan.
  • The president's Build Back Better proposal includes jobs that pay "$45 or $50 an hour," he said.
  • He added that the plan would return $6 in savings for each dollar invested to prevent disaster.

Jobs that help prepare the US for the changing climate will pay a high hourly wage, President Joe Biden said after touring storm damage in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday.

"I think of one word when I think of climate change: jobs, good-paying jobs," he said. "Not $7 or $12 or $15, but $45, $50 an hour, plus healthcare. That's what is needed."

Biden's $45 figure is more than six times higher than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which has remained unchanged since 2009, when Biden was vice president in the Obama administration.

Businesses are increasingly finding it difficult to attract talent by offering less than $15 an hour, making that a de facto minimum wage in some instances.

Biden described increased spending on climate resilience as a smart investment, saying that each dollar invested under his Build Back Better plan in things like flood mitigation, forest-fire prevention, and burying electrical lines would ultimately lead to $6 in savings.

"The storm in the Gulf, as you've now figured out, can reverberate 10 states away," he said. "Supply chains and crop production get interrupted, driving up costs, devastating industries all over America. This is everybody's crisis."

Tripti Bhattacharya, an environmental-science professor at Syracuse University, told NPR that Ida had "just the right mix of weather conditions" in place to wreak havoc across the Northeast more than 1,000 miles from where it made landfall in Louisiana.

"A storm like this would have been exceptionally rare 20 or 50 years ago, but we have to start thinking about it becoming the norm as the climate warms," she said.

Against that backdrop, Biden is pitching his multitrillion-dollar spending plan as a win-win in both economic terms and, more importantly, lives saved.

"It's serious, serious business," he said. "We got a lot of work to do."

Comments / 94

act right

How are high paying jobs going to reverse climate change? All that will do is drive up the cost of living in every aspect. Food, fuel , homes. You name it. Go back to the drawing board joe. I’ll buy you a new box of crayons

Liam Byrne

Do they even know what jobs will pay this amount of money? Do they have training courses to teach people that will make that kind of money? Maybe its is part of the gender studies program that people keep complaining about or maybe just maybe the people this administration keep bringing into this country have already been trained and americians have already missed the boat.

♉ Taurus

This makes absolutely no sense. Biden has no clue about reality. Climate is their next boogy man.


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